I met, and got to know Harry Chapin back in 72 (I’ll find the exact dates), when he was playing in Atlanta (about every 6 months or so) at The Great Southeast Music Hall for The Performing Art, a small converted theater in Buckhead.
I was formally with a “one hit wonder” band called The Knickerbockers (63-67), and was doing booking work for the T.G.S.M.H.F.T.P.A. (quite a name). This was an open seating (200 max) area with pillows and beer sold by the bucket. The kind of place that Harry most liked to play.
I got to speak a good bit with Harry every time he visited Atlanta, but on his last performance at this little theater, he phoned a friend of his, John Denver, who had sold out the OMNI that evening, and John came to Harry’s show after his own. We locked the doors and John did about an hour by himself on stage.
After the show, I was fortunate enough to join Harry and John (and a few others) and go out to the Dunkin Dine (about all that was open), and it was here that John told Harry that he was nuts for playing 2 shows 5 nights a week at such places…
John put Harry in contact with his manager (I don’t know what became of that) except that the next time Harry came to Atlanta, he played for 1200+ at Georgia Tech. After that, it was constantly uphill and Harry never looked back, except to mention to me (one show in 78 in Bloomington Mn.) that he really missed the intimate groups and the small 4 piece sound.
To me, this was the greatest story teller of our time, and not a day goes by that I am not moved by some of his old classics.
He performed Mr. Tanner for the first time at the GSMHFTPF… never knew John had such a sweet voice and such a great range.
Glad to see that he has so many friends still actively remembering when the music…
My Best, always…
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